If you’re disappointed with your Chambers legal guide results, this post is for you.

So many lawyers and marketing professionals spend a lot of time crafting great submissions with strong matters but it’s all for nothing if you don’t submit the right (responsive) references.

Developing a strong references strategy for the legal guides process is the single most important thing you do to improve your rankings.

The most important component of a strong law firm directory submission are the references, and it’s where many firms and their lawyers make mistakes.

The greatest emphasis should be on the responsiveness of your references, not the prestige of their job titles.

Your goal is not to impress the legal guides by including senior-level clients – your objective is to find the clients who can best speak to your abilities, who are often those individuals in the trenches.

The references you provide need to actually respond to the researchers’ requests for feedback, so only choose individuals who will really go the extra mile for you.

While this may sound like a no brainer, you should only choose clients who truly like you.

It’s not enough to have achieved a favorable result for a client, you must also have a personal connection with them – these are the individuals who will sing your praises without any shadow of a doubt.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself these questions when choosing this year’s references. (If the answer is no, obviously do not include them.)

  • Will the reference actually respond to the researcher?
  • Does the reference have a deep knowledge of my work?
  • Does the reference truly like me?
  • Are they the kind of person who will give detailed, positive feedback?

Some other key points to consider: Don’t just use last year’s list of references and call it a day.

Take the time to carefully review the list and make updates that reflect who can best speak about your work.

You can now submit up to 20 references per practice and you should.

Remember that you do not need to include references that correspond with each of the matters that you are submitting but some of your references should be associated with the work included in the submission.

Also, ensure that the contact information of each reference is correct on the spreadsheet that you submit. The researchers aren’t going to track down your clients’ updated contact information to get in touch with them – that’s your job.

One final point on references: Don’t forget to personally ask each client that you list if you can use them as a reference before you nominate them to speak on your behalf.

Nothing is worse than a scenario where your client receives a call/email from a researcher months later out of the blue without any context from you.

Even better than giving them a heads up, offer to take your client out to lunch or dinner as a thank you for taking the time out of their busy schedules for providing the reference – who knows, this might even be the catalyst for a new matter or referral!

In short, developing a strong references strategy for the legal guides process may be the single most important thing you do to improve your directory results this year, so dedicate ample time to it!

What would you add to improving your legal guides strategy?

Reach out to me if you need help crafting your legal guides submission strategy!